Posted in apocalypse, nottingham zine fair, prophecy

Apocalypse fever in 2012

By Elizabeth Prata

Eleven years ago, apocalypse fever was a global phenomenon. The alleged ‘Mayan apocalypse’ of 2012 sparked writings, tv shows, wild social media commentary, and predictions of doom. People really thought the ancient Mayans were right about the world ending in 2012.

During that feverish time, UK graphic designer, fashion student and editor Loren Kristie Aldridge (now Loren Aldridge-Clouston) asked me to contribute an article to her ‘zine which would be sold at the 2nd Annual Nottingham Zine Fair in London, England. She was putting together a ‘zine about the apocalypse and wanted me to contribute something from the Christian point of view. She asked me for a bio and also to spend 800 or so words describing what is going to happen according to the Christian version of the apocalypse, and why I believe the Apocalypse is going to happen. (FYI the Apocalypse IS going to happen but not according to the date the ancient Mayans predicted, it is an unknown date).

The fact that what the Mayans predicted didn’t pan out, nor did any of the other fake prophets like Nostradamus or modern day so-called prophets predictions come true, shows that firstly, the Bible is right (no one knows the day nor hour) and secondly, God is the only One in control of history, time, the earth, and its destiny and all that is within it.

Loren’s request was a tall order to be that broad but have so few words to say it all in, but the Holy Spirit was gracious and led me to what I feel is a good written product.

Her graphic zine product came out great, I really like it from what I could glean from photos. I never got to see the final version of her whole zine. Loren told me the “Apocalypse This” zine sold out quickly. The pages she showed on her social media as they were being created were well done.

Here is what my article’s page looks like. I like it. She took my 800 words and arranged them in the form of a cross.

The Nottingham Zine Fair is still going, eleven years later.

Martin Luther and early American Revolution pamphleteers such as Thomas Paine were technically zinesters. A zine is simply “a self-published print medium of focused theme and small circulation” according to the definition. Often there was only one edition. More often, the minority interest contained in the zine was of a more alternative nature, countercultural, or even anarchic.

In Thomas Paine’s and Martin Luther’s day the ‘minority interest’ of alternative nature contained in pamphlets, or zines, was anti-government or anti-pope, a dangerous position indeed, often carrying with it a death sentence for treason or heresy. This was because small pamphlets had the potential of having a huge impact on capturing the vox populi despite large corporate or governmental control of information and thus perception of the status quo. 

To put it into an example, just think the moment on October 31, 1517, when, according to traditional accounts, Luther’s 95 Theses were nailed to the door of the Castle Church. The rippling reaction turned the world upside down. Just think of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, it having the effect of galvanizing the Colonies toward revolution and separation from England as the mother country.

I was humbled and grateful to have been asked to contribute to Apocalypse This zine. Due to the alternative nature of zines these days, having a piece about Jesus in and amongst the other subjects meant that people will read the Gospel who don’t normally come across it.

Below is what I wrote for the zine –

The Apocalypse has been the source behind some of the greatest poetry, art, and writing. One of Yeats’s greatest poems is called The Second Coming, most of Renaissance art contain Apocalyptic or biblical scenes, and many films these days have apocalyptic storylines. It all comes from the Bible, the world’s greatest selling book. That’s pretty amazing when the fact is the Bible is incomprehensible to any person who doesn’t know Christ.

You heard me. More on that in a second.

But first, what IS Apocalypse?

The word apocalypse comes from the Greek for “revelation,” or “unveiling.” It’s about future things dealing with the return of Christ and the events of the end time. Do you know that a third of the Bible is prophecy? Did you know that every book in the NT except Philemon speaks about the end times? It’s not just a Revelation thing. It’s a Jesus thing, and Jesus is throughout the entire Bible.

So what IS going to happen? Jesus is going to punish sin, plain and simple. Punishment is never pleasant, and Jesus said that the Apocalypse will be the worst time on earth there will ever be. (Matthew 24:21Daniel 12:1b). Daniel 9:24 explains the 6 things God will do during the Apocalypse punishments. God, who is loving, wants us to be righteous so we can be with Him in heaven, so He sent Jesus. God, who is holy, is going to punish the unholy, who reject Jesus.

There will be earthquakes so bad that entire mountains crumble and islands flee away. One hundred pound hailstones will squash men. Plagues (and wars and beasts) will kill 1/3 of people. Demons will be let out of the abyss to inflict a painful bite so bad that people want to die: but can’t. They’ll chew their tongues in agony. Starving people will die in the streets, but no one will care. Things will come upon the earth so frightening that people have heart attacks on the spot. The sun and moon go dark, stars fall from the sky. Jesus said it will be so bad that if He let it go longer nobody would survive. As it is, 4 billion die within the 7 years. (Revelation 6-19).

Sin is real. God’s judgment of sin is real. Satan is real. Hell is real. The coming Antichrist is real. Everything in the Bible is real. Not any other book. Apocalypse will happen. The rapture will be the signal that it’s beginning.

How can I be so sure? Because for 43 years I had everything I ever wanted. Money, fame, comforts, ease, professional recognition, world travel, and yet I felt empty. I felt in my soul that there had to be something more. What was this longing? This hole I felt within me? (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Is this all there is? Live a life and then die? It seemed like a lot of trouble to go through just to die. Is there a heaven? Will I go there? I wondered all these things.

It was the lack of knowing Jesus that was the problem. He created us. (Rev 4:11) and because we are born with a sin-nature, I was separate from him. THAT’S what I was feeling. I had been trying to fill that hole with temporary and unfulfilling things. I finally found the answer, at middle age without ever having gone to a church (so I’m not brainwashed into Christianity, lol). When you confess your sins and repent to Jesus, He forgives you and He brings you to fellowship with Him. He sends the Holy Spirit to make the things of God understandable, like the Bible. (2 Corinthians 3:14). Before I was saved, the Bible made no sense. I thought it was stupid. I thought Bible thumpers and Jesus followers were stupid. After I repented, the Bible made total sense and I loved Jesus.

I now see death differently from all the rest of the world that has no hope. It is simply a transition, from something tiring and full of struggle, to something wondrous and glorious beyond compare. I have no fears of the Apocalypse, because I won’t be here to experience it. Those in Christ will be taken out of the way, because He is not angry with us. We’re forgiven sinners. He is angry with unrepentant sinners. O, it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God!

I am very sure this age will come to a terrible end. I am sure that time is not long away. I am very sure that I will be lifted bodily away from earth to meet Jesus in the air at the rapture to live with Him forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-181 Corinthians 15:50-54.) If you want that certainty too, then repent of your sins and turn to Jesus. Believe He is Lord, who sacrificially died to satisfy God’s wrath about sin and who was raised on the third day. I will be in heaven. I hope you will be too.

Posted in atheism, end time, falling away, prophecy

There’s no such thing as an ex-Christian

By Elizabeth Prata

There’s no such thing as an ex-Christian. Look at 1 John-

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19)

John is saying here that people who ‘backslide’ and then fall away from the faith entirely, a symptom of the end times by the way, never really were saved to begin with. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him,” (Titus 1:15).

So what do we say to the verse in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 which states that many will fall away?

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Tim 4:1-3)

Again those who fell away were never really one of Jesus’ elect to begin with.

And before the person started falling away, in came sneaky heresies they began listening to. They enjoyed these false teachings and heresies because their darkened heart had never experienced the light.

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

So the progression is: profess Christ by mouth… but since there was no visible fruit to show the state of grace they were claiming on the inside, they were never really saved & regeneration never occurred; fail to walk closely with Jesus by procrastinating in discipleship, Bible study, prayer, and/or worship, furthering the distance between themselves and Jesus; (OR, faithfully attending church and Bible study but due to hard heart always were learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth); listen to or promote destructive heresies that either they knowingly or unknowingly begin to believe, start doubting Christ’s sufficiency; doubt more, and then slide into apostasy’s full blown renunciation and end up in a state of atheism.

Peter says “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.” (2 Peter 2:20)

Notice the words that both Jude and Peter use to describe the heresies what will infiltrate the church in the last days; “secretly” and “crept in”. The heresies don’t come into the church by way of aggressive men bellowing a ‘new doctrine’ to the delight of followers who joyfully jump their pews and run out the door to his new church.

No, they come sneakily, secretly, subtly. And no wonder, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made…” (Genesis 3:1) so satan isn’t going to capture hearts with bellicose attitudes or flagrantly detectable bad doctrine. Many of the preachers and teachers will not even openly pronounce their heresies, they will be secret within their heart and only after a while, introduced slyly. Jude’s words “crept in” also indicate something that also isn’t readily detectable and is subtle at the start.

These teachers will have a big, white smile, open their lecture with a warm joke, and tell you that Jesus was a good, moral teacher and that you deserve the best life now. They will never tell you that your best life is later and that Jesus didn’t come to be a moral leader but to seek and save the lost- And that you are lost.

Others will tell you that we are all one universal consciousness, we are our own gods, and then, they will give you a car. They will tell you that if you believe in Jesus, He will make your life better, while you are seeking Him from comfy ampitheatre watching a techno-sermon with a cappuccino in your hand. Seeker-sensitive churches are false on its premise because in Romans we learn that no one seeks God.

The end result of a Christian in name only – that is, one who claimed Jesus but never really believed – and is one who is at risk of being tempted by destructive heresies, and ultimately of apostasy. What comes next is atheism.

Atheism is a natural cul-de-sac in the road away from the cross. writes:

“At the same time, it takes just as much faith to believe in atheism. To make the absolute statement “God does not exist” is to make a claim of knowing absolutely everything there is to know about everything and of having been everywhere in the universe and having witnessed everything there is to be seen. [I]t cannot be proven that God does not exist. It takes just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a theist.”

Which, I suspect, could be one of the reasons Peter said it makes a person worse off from what they were before. After apostasy settles in and atheism rears its head, a person is well and truly now in the dangerous pits of despair, misplacing their burgeoning faith in Something for a faith in Nothing that will last forever.

An interesting article appeared in Maine Family Policy Council’s online publication, The Record:

“While there may be a diversity of opinion about the nature of God, no one in state government has stepped forward to doubt His existence. Atheism remains a strong taboo in political circles, in part because of the widely-held belief that faith in God is the mainstay of civil society. Eight state constitutions explicitly forbid atheists from holding public office. Tennessee’s state constitution gives the clearest statement in this regard:”

“No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.” –end article

It all starts with destructive heresies, ungodly men creeping in unnoticed. And why aren’t they noticed? Because Christians today all too often fail to be familiar with the real thing. They abandon Bible study, quiet time, prayers, and worship, so that when the counterfeit shows up, being only subtly different from the Truth, it goes unnoticed.

What today’s Christian needs is larger doses of the above, not smaller. As times get tougher and stress makes a person weary, as work loads increase and family strife abounds, people fall away from the paving stones of a faith that lead from the cross to glory. This process separates the Christians In Name Only from the true believers. Are you worried about your salvation? Are you unsure? Has there been no visible fruit in your life for a while? You are at risk. Repent. Take it to the cross, and make sure you are saved. Apostasy is a ‘subtil’ thing, as subtle as satan. Has he crept into your heart?

Posted in end time, holy, prophecy, repent

Holy is a word we need to hear more of

By Elizabeth Prata

Holiness is the central point of all of the story of Redemption. God is Holy. That means He is perfect, sinless, well, Holy.

And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)

Humans are not holy. We were originally created sinless, perfect, but through free will, Adam and Eve in the garden decided to follow the serpent’s suggestion to eat the forbidden fruit, and in doing so, directly disobeyed a command from God. That is what sin IS, disobeying God. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that displeases God. Since we have thoughts, words and actions that displease God all the time, and couldn’t stop if we tried, it means we are sinners with a sin nature. Paul refers to our sinful nature in Galatians:

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)

Even if you do not believe in Adam and Eve and the garden and the forbidden fruit, you know deep down, that you are a corrupt person who does wrong things. Even if you ever said one lie to spare a person’s feelings (“Yes, that dress looks great on you!”) you are disqualified from being with God in heaven. Why? His Holiness is eternal. So is that lie. Sin is eternal, too. It doesn’t go away after you say it or do it or think it. It remains. And your sin and His holiness shall never meet.

Why would a liar think he is qualified for heaven? A cheater? As self-admitted liars and cheats and adulterers, and gossips and lusty people, why do we think we are “a basically a good person” and therefore qualified to dwell forever with a Holy God? We aren’t.

However, God so desires a relationship with us, that He made a way. He sent Jesus to us. I used to think that Jesus first came to us at Bethlehem on Christmas. But that is not so. He has been with God since the beginning. Genesis 1:1-26 shows that the Father God, Jesus and the Spirit were all involved in the Creation. And just in case there is confusion on this point, John 1:1-3 says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

At one point known only to God, God said

“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.(Psalm 2:7)

And God’s Plan to send a Holy One to redeem us was enacted, as reiterated by Paul in Acts 13:33:

that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’

So if we’ve all been sinners since Adam and Eve and He is Holy and cannot dwell with us, that’s it, then, isn’t it? Not quite! We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) He loves us SO MUCH! He sent Jesus to us to minister and preach and heal, so that our only, ONLY call to the road to heaven is “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29b)

It is very simple. Believe. All other verses are spokes stemming that central truth: for example, believing in “the One” means believing in the Messiah. Why was He sent? To seek and save the lost. Why are we lost? We sin. Why is He Messiah? Because He is the ONLY one who is qualified to forgive our sins, being sinless. Why would we confess? Because He came to seek and save us from our sins, therefore it makes sense that we would acknowledge those sins through our stated belief in Him.

Many people believe in a god without believing they themselves are sinners. Worse, they leave Jesus out of the equation completely.

Because God is HOLY, and we sin therefore we are not holy, man must “reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. (Jeremiah 26:13)”

Believe, and turn from your sin. Repent and be dwelling in perfect love for all eternity! Love, love, love, we love because HE FIRST LOVED US! He is wonderful and a holy God like no other. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple,” that is how holy He is. Yet for all His holiness, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16) He is waiting there for you with open arms.

Posted in end time, prophecy

"He told me all that I ever did"

By Elizabeth Prata

The “Woman at the well” passage always blesses me when I read it. The verses in John 4:1-42 are rich with lessons of all kinds. Dwelling on each one could be enough sermons for a year. However, today the phrase the woman uttered “He told me everything I ever did” stays with me and it is the focus of this essay.

The woman went to the well at midday, instead of early morning and late afternoon with all the other women, likely because she was a known sinner and shunned from respectable company. Furthermore, she was surprised that Jesus asked her for a drink. When Christ asked her for water, she said as much, “the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” (verse 9).

She had had five husbands and the man she was living with then was not her husband. Six husbands/lovers in even a mid-sized city is a lot of men.

Thus began their conversation that rings through the ages. During the conversation, the woman’s spiritual awareness grew and grew, until she realized just Who it is that she was talking to, which Jesus confirmed. The woman marveled, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”(verse 28)

“He told me all that I ever did.”

If that thought doesn’t strike fear in the believer’s heart, I don’t know what will. Though Christ’s death on the cross enabled God to obtain for us the legal discharge from the handwriting of ordinances, which was against us, (Col 2:14) believers must still present themselves to Jesus and account for what they have done for Him subsequent to accepting His gift of grace. This ceremony is known as the Bema Seat.

Romans 14:10-12:
“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written:
“As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

“He told me all that I ever did.”

Second Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

“He told me all that I ever did.”

We are not to stand before Jesus at the Bema seat for judgment nor condemnation. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. ” (Romans 8:1). But we will stand and answer for everything we ever did, so that Jesus may know how many rewards to bestow. It will be visible and it will be one-one-one. Just as He spoke with the woman at the well, and confronted her sin directly, so He will do with us.

“He told me all that I ever did.”

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” ( 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

The more works that are burned as hay or stubble, the fewer rewards we will receive. Not condemnation, but greater or lesser rewards. Still, I have no doubt that the feeling will be excruciating. At the moment Jesus stands before each of us individually and confronts everything we ever did (after the pardon of forgiveness was given), I know that no matter how much I think I have done for Him, I will want to have done more. I will want to have done better. I will be ashamed that so much would be burned as hay or stubble.

“He told me all that I ever did.”

Are you ready to have a one-on-one conversation with Jesus where He will not only tell you everything you ever did but burn some of it before your eyes as worthless? Are you ready for Him to lift up the scales containing your good work for Him of gold and silver? If you have unconfessed sins in your life, confess them now. If you think your work is only hay or stubble, ask the Spirit to help you change that work to gold and silver.

Our work does not save us, but the work we do for His glory after being saved will be evaluated, scrutinized, weighed and either burned or rewarded. Are you ready to have Him tell you everything you ever did?

Posted in end time, prophecy, wayside cross

The cross in public life

By Elizabeth Prata

The Wayside Cross is a huge tradition in Canada and Europe, where it has abounded for over a thousand years. Granted, in those cases it is usually a crucifix, a pagan symbol from Catholicism, “In Quebec, and Europe, a wayside cross marks a place where the members of a community gather to meet and pray, and often commemorates an important moment in their communal history.”

Charles Bourget reports that there are 3000 wayside shrines dotting the countryside in Quebec, however, many of them are falling into disrepair because the tradition is waning. I wrote about the fate of one American Wayside Cross in East Greenwich RI.

In America, the tradition never really caught on. They are still seen occasionally. In Bedford NY, one was erected in 1936 and it was hoped that the sight of it would invite the prayers of the passersby.

In 1922 East Greenwich, it was hoped by “those who placed this beautiful memorial to an exemplary life feel that it will indeed be a light by the way and a guide post to Heaven.” By and large wayside crosses, especially Protestant crosses, are not seen much on the public byways and those that do exist are under increasing challenge.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The point of the cross in public life is that it would point the way to Jesus. These were visual reminders of the higher being. That upon seeing it, thoughts of Him and the Good News would ruminate in the mind, and through the strength of the Holy Spirit, those thoughts would germinate. For people seeing such displays, who have already heard the Good News, perhaps its sight would loosen the bonds around the heartstrings and their conviction would grow, as in the allegorical depiction of Christian at the Wayside Cross in Pilgrim’s Progress.

A wayside cross was a pivotal point in the very famous book Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, published in 1678 and has remained on the ‘bestseller list’ ever since, never having been out of print. The passage is below:

“He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, ‘He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.’ Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold three Shining Ones came to him and saluted him with Peace be unto thee. So the first said to him, Thy sins be forgiven thee;”

It is amazing that the sight of the cross should ease a person’s burdens, but it does, for the person who is ready to receive grace. For every individual on the planet, there comes that critical moment, upon which the eye falls to the cross – either the literal one along the roadways, or the mental one having shared through the Gospel – and a decision is made either aye or nay.

The cross to the unsaved does make one’s soul burn, satan would have it so. But in the process of that the soul-singe the cross is emblazoned on the mind and heart and soul, thereafter to linger as a brand. It stays there, to rankle. Opponents of Christ do not want that rankle, and therefore strive to remove the cross from all areas of life even private property and churches. The right to display the cross in public life is waning.

The public crosses I saw during the course of my life affected me and were sure steppingstones on my path to the Lord. I mentioned the initial event that started me thinking about the public life of the cross in yesterday’s post, the RI Wayside Cross that stood at the intersection of my street. I saw that cross a lot growing up. Each time I did, I exhibited varying amounts of offense at varying times until I moved far away to a godless state and never no more was troubled by public displays of the cross.

The public crosses that stand alongside roads, hang round our necks as jewelry, appear on cars and trucks and shipgoing vessels, all can and do minutely penetrate the web of dark sin in which the the unsaved labor. If we see through a glass darkly, they see not at all, and the cross is the only light that can and will penetrate that darkness.

If you own a cross as a tie clip or jewelry, wear it. If you should be of a mind, erect one at the edge of your lawn. Do not let the Christian cross become a fading symbol here in the United States.

The visibility of the cross is decreasing in America too. Don’t let it.

The cross was a public declaration that God’s righteousness was satisfied. It is an offense to the pagan. (Romans 3:24-25; Galatians 6:14, Galatians 5:11). We should be no less open about the cross, mentioning it, affirming it, even wearing it if we have one. In doing so, He is lifted up.

Posted in do not worry, end time, prophecy

On being joyful

By Elizabeth Prata

Someone told me the other day that she enjoyed my bright smile. I replied that though I did have my issues and my problems, I choose joy. I do not focus on my problems. She was surprised, saying that one would never know by looking at me that I felt sad or down. I said that my problems will pass away but the light of Jesus will never pass away. I want people to see His Light, not my problems.

To that end, I work at refocusing my attitude each day. Some days I need to refocus it hour by hour, and some days moment by moment. It is work to choose to rely on joy and not wallow in personal problems. I know sometimes I look glum, I try not to. But I don’t want to be a hypocrite either, faking that I have NO problems. But some people’s problems are so massive, mine in comparison are actually quite small. It’s all about perspective.

What do you want people to see? Your problems written on your face, body, and posture? Jesus warned the disciples not to purposely draw attention to one’s face when fasting or praying. In that case it was so people would ask the Pharisee ‘What’s the matter?’ so they could answer in a humblebrag about their lengthy fasting.

Can people see His light in you despite your problems? If we rely on Him, then really rely on Him. Don’t worry about the medical report, you will get a glorified body. Don’t worry about the scarce cupboard, He will provide. Don’t worry about the job, He will send one. Don’t worry about anything. It’s hard, I know, but worry doesn’t increase your life one second more. Worry is actually a distrust of God’s providential care and work in our life.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

He says:

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25).

“I inquired of Yahweh, and He answered me, And delivered me from all that I dread.” (Psalm 34:4).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

He says all that and more. Let people see your light, for He that is within us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Your problems will pass away, but He will never pass away, so He should be the focus. Choose joy.

Posted in end time, prophecy

Are you a cotter pin?

By Elizabeth Prata

In the body of Christ, all are important- even the seemingly small. Are you doubting your importance to Christ and His work? Don’t.

Isaiah 33:23a – “Your rigging hangs loose: The mast is not held secure, the sail is not spread

I was reading this verse today and it reminded me of something that happened to me some years ago. We were liveaboard yachtsmen then and had sailed from Maine to the Bahamas. We were anchored a while in the Bahamas, enjoying the numerous islands, hopping from one to the other. We had made some friends and sailed with them, anchoring at night and socializing by day over scrabble and rum. On the day of the photo below, I and my husband were sailing with our chums on Sea of Abaco. It was a yacht race,  and we were aboard their boat.

So me and the boat owner’s wife were sitting amidships enjoying the race, looking at the other boats, and chatting. After a few minutes, she said, “Let’s go below and get some water.” We moved to the galley and a second later we heard an enormous crash! The boat shook and rolled! We instantly thought we had run aground, even though the Sea was deep at that location. We scrambled up to the deck only to see that the mast had fallen down! It had crashed down on the spot where we had just been sitting!!

dismasted credit. note, this was not the boat I was on.
But the mess was similar.
Again, not our boat, but the sails and rigging
dragging in the water is similar

The other owner had fallen into the water and the sails and heavy ropes and rigging were ensnaring his legs, potentially dragging him under. The boat came to a dead stop in the water and we were simply in shock.

A dismasting is one of the most terrible things that can happen to a yachtsman on the water. Fortunately we were half a mile from nearly the only and the best boatbuilding and repair facility in the entire 700 mile chain of islands. The owner guy was a schmoozer and finagled parts from the States in no time and within a week they were on their way. As with any tragedy, we wanted to know why. What did the mast autopsy say?

The cotter pin was gone.

This is a cotter pin:

This is how a cotter pin is used:

A cotter pin is “a metal fastener with two tines that are bent during installation used to fasten metal together, like with a staple or rivet.” (Wikipedia)

A mast and its rigging system is complex, and it relies on the sum of its parts, plus tension, to work. “On a sailing vessel, a forestay, sometimes just called a stay, is a piece of standing rigging which keeps a mast from falling backwards. It is attached either at the very top of the mast, or in fractional rigs between about 1/8 and 1/4 from the top of the mast. The other end of the forestay is attached to the bow of the boat.”

forestay is #16

And the cotter pin holds the forestay to the bow. With the cotter pin gone, the tension of the system was disrupted, and at just the right moment, the mast fell backwards.

The first thing you see on a sailing vessel is its mast and sail. It is a beautiful thing, billowing in the wind, doing important work to propel the boat. The next thing perhaps you see is the boat itself, its lines and its beauty. As Alan Jackson sang in “Boats to Build,” it has a “fair curve from a noble plan.”

The next thing you may notice is the stays and shrouds hearing them hum and sing in the wind. You hear the engine, you see the keel when heeling in a stiff breeze. You never notice the cotter pins.

Isaiah 33:23a – “Your rigging hangs loose: The mast is not held secure, the sail is not spread

We Christians make up a body. Every body part has a function. If we’re serious about our walk with Jesus, we want to make a difference. We see great evangelists opening hearts to the Spirit and subsequent salvation. We see missionaries making great sacrifices. We listen to pastors preach as if they were on fire, and altars filled with weeping responders. We see teachers publishing book after book, with eager readers excitedly discussing new points of view.

We never notice the cotter pins. Some folks serve in quiet ways, unnoticed. In the background. But if the pin is gone, the mast falls down. It has its part in the system, and every body part is important to Jesus, the Head of the Body. If you have been feeling sad, like you’re insignificant, like you don’t make a difference, YOU DO.

1 Corinthians 12:18-31-

But now God has appointed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20But now there are many members, but one body. 21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, how much more is it that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary, 23and those members of the body which we think as less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no such need. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all translate? 31But you earnestly desire the greater gifts.

And I will yet show you a more excellent way.

Posted in lot, open door, prophecy, sin

A tale of two doors

By Elizabeth Prata

EPrata photo

I was reading 2 Thessalonians and I read this verse from 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7,

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

I’d always focused on extracting the meaning from the part of the verse that says “he who restrains” but this time I was focused on the “mystery of lawlessness.” My mind began to question. “Why is lawlessness a mystery? The Bible speaks of sinfulness often. That’s what sinfulness is, lawlessness. So why is it a mystery? We’ve been living with it for 6000 years…”

I find that asking questions of myself about the meaning helps me dig deeper. I’m not speaking of doubting the meaning. Nor am I suggesting I am questioning God’s judgment. I am asking myself what, who, when, where, why questions like a journalist would do to get at the truth of a story. ‘Why is this word here? Who was Paul writing to? Why is his tone so abrupt? What is the city or geographical location? What was the context?’ Those kinds of questions.

So why is lawlessness a mystery? Let’s hold that thought while I take you down another line of inquiry and then I’ll tie the two together.

I was listening to a John MacArthur sermon last Saturday morning. It was titled, “Heaven: The Future of Christians.” In the sermon MacArthur was talking about salvation and the process of getting into heaven. He explained this verse:

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)

He said of the narrow way, the small door of Matthew 7:14, that it’s hard to go through. “Why? Why is it so hard?” He’d said-

“First, it’s hard to find because it’s small, second, to go through you have to strive. You have to agonize. You have to be violent about it. You have to press into it…”

It is hard to go through the door of repentance. It is the most difficult thing a person will ever do. Turning your back on your own wickedness and lawlessness is agonizing over our sin nature and violence because one is turning one’s back on one’s self. It is hating not just the sin IN us, but our very selves because sin is our very nature.

In a different sermon but on the same verse, Matthew 7:13-14 and the narrow door, MacArthur paints a picture of the struggle to come to repentance and salvation-

So Jesus says in Matthew 11:12, “The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.” What amazing words. There’s a certain violence in coming to salvation. You’re in the throes of a war and a battle with your own soul to release your love of sin and self and pride. It’s a wrenching experience. Luke 16:16 says, “Every man presses into it.”

Becoming a Christian is not easy. It’s hard. Another way to say all that is that the Kingdom opens up to those who seek with all their hearts. You’re not going to sleep your way into the Kingdom. The Kingdom requires earnest endeavor, untiring energy, utmost exertion.

Pressing into the door with all exertion and violence. His word-pictures brought to mind another door that people were pressing into.

The door to Lot’s house at Sodom.

The men who were deep in sin and given over to it were pressing into the door with violence and all exertion. Here is the scene at Genesis 19:9-11.

EPrata photo

But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

The men were immersed in their sin-nature and they exhausted themselves trying to go through the door to perform their sin. They wanted to go through the door from bad to worse. The penitent person wants to go through the door from worse to best.

In referring back to the Matthew 11:12 verse,

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

I’d always pondered over that scene at Lot’s hose. The men had obviously experienced something supernatural, they’d all just been struck blind. But their sin was so potent they still tried to beat down the door with violence. This is a peek at the mystery of lawlessness.

Lawlessness is a mystery because mystery means veiled from our full perception. We know that in 1 Corinthians 13:12 we see through a mirror dimly

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

We can’t fully comprehend the mystery of Jesus, the mystery of the heights and the depths of His glory, the mystery of his perfections. It is partly veiled from us. It is the same with sin. The full height and depth of sin is partially hidden from us. This fullness will come when the Man of Sin is revealed, who is the antichrist. We have a sense of the mystery of lawlessness now, because John said there are many antichrists. We know from history what Hitler did. But sin can be and will be so much worse than that when it’s full expression is revealed in the Tribulation, embodied by the man whose nickname IS sin.

Just as Jesus’ glory is infinitely beautiful, so is sin infinitely gross and putrid. The fullness of sin’s depravity is hidden from us and its full expression is not revealed … yet. We see sin through a mirror dimly.

This essay is the tale of two doors. The door to salvation which the penitent presses into, exerts himself toward with violence. Then there is the door to sin which the impenitent presses into, exerts himself toward with violence. They exhaust themselves groping for the door to the next layer of descending depravity, the depths of which is bottomless like the pit where the worst of the demons are being held in chains, restrained from expressing themselves until the time of Revelation 9:2 arrives.

The path is wide and leads to a big door, or the path is narrow and leads to a small door. My hope is that many more will press into the small gate and change from goat to sheep. Use all exertion, violence and pressing into repentance, forsaking all behind, even yourself.

Posted in bilderbergs, end time, prophecy

Conspiracy theories: Hall of mirrors, or lifted veil; your choice

By Elizabeth Prata

But if the ministry of death, in letters having been engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, which was being brought to an end, 8how will the ministry of the Spirit not be even more in glory? 9For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 10For indeed what had been glorious, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11For if that which was being brought to an end was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

12Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness, 13and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the consequence of what was being brought to an end. 14But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is brought to an end in Christ. 15But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart, 16but WHENEVER a person TURNS TO THE LORD, THE VEIL IS TAKEN AWAY. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:7-18)

In reading these passages from 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 I was struck by two images the verses evoked. The first is the veil. The second is the phrase ‘where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

There is much spiritual meat here. Praise His name! But the focus today is the veil and mirror. We are in the end times. We know that at the time of the very end there will be a one world dictator in control of the currency, economy, religion, and politics of the entire globe. This is the antichrist. The time prior to the antichrist is characterized by shrinking; shrinking economy, shrinking currency, shrinking spheres of influence for formerly powerful nations, shrinking amount of people who wield power; all aimed toward the moment when the shrinking will have been reduced to only one power-wielder.

There IS power behind the throne and those are the fallen angels who are given permission by God to influence these powerful men, leaders, and elected officials. People have become interested in these powers, groups such as the Freemasons, Bilderbergs, Illuminati, World Economic Forum (WEF) and so on. And there is always a germ of truth at the core of the rotten conspiracy.

But think about this fact: Chasing the Illuminati and Freemasons et al is in effect chasing satan. In chasing the Illuminati and the Freemasons and the other shadowy organizations (Bohemian Grove, and so on…) , we get trapped in a hall of mirrors with reflections of the evil fallen angels dancing from mirror to mirror. Pursuing the Illuminati, even in thought, is pointless. We already know that satan influences some of earth’s leaders. Does it matter that we know who these Bilderbergs are and what they plan? We know who the power is behind the throne. We know that there will be a New World Order. We know that prayer is the most effective weapon. We know God wins. Isn’t that enough?

We have a choice on what to watch on television and where to put our energy and resources. We can pursue the shadows in a never-ending race or we can remember we have had the veil lifted from our face and the glory is in Jesus. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” How wonderful! How great!

‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’ We can spend time and energy with veiled eyes pursuing the endless mirror of the Illuminati/Masons/Bilderbergs, or we can remember the veil is taken away in Christ and gaze upon HIM!

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: Desertion

Kay Cude is a poet whose sensitivity to the glorious salvation of Jesus Christ is uniquely expressed through poetry and picture. Here is her latest offering, in which she explains her thought process. Enjoy. Used with permission. Right-click to see larger in new tab.

—————————–Kay Cude—————————–

If you look closely at the tower, you’ll see a tiny figure of someone, which refers to the statement, “As gazed I o’er the valley fair, to there below from tower high.”

That little figure caught my eye, as well as the city lighted up and the storm approaching from the left (approaching spiritual death). So I began to write. The city represents the safety of true salvation in Christ and understanding His Gospel.

The people represent those captured by a “different gospel” suggested as the “real” place of safety. Even though they “know” God’s truth — they are persuaded to run to false teaching and reject Christ.

Christ’s refuge is known to them and still stands in its truth, but when extreme peril approaches, they are convinced by someone’s whim (spiritual deception), to flee to eternal death and separation. Even the donkey digs in his heels against the “unknown” way,” and the dog barks at their sudden rejection.

Their end is eternal separation and eternal living death because they quickly deserted Christ’s truth for a distorted gospel.

Kay Cude is a Texas poet. Used with permission